It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up. He was gone. And, soon, this bedroom, the house in whose eastern corner it sat, and the tiny garden outside with its gnarled old red hibiscus and the half-grown mango tree they had planted together, all those would be gone as well. It was the strangest feeling ever.
The days seems to be longer than usual, thought Uma though it was the same 24 hours. She felt it has extended by another 24 hours or so. She wasn't sure how to take it forward. She is just 45 and the fate had played in her life by taking away her beloved husband. She use to fondly call him Maddy as his original name was Madhavan. They were the most desired couple in that locality since they had always shown great care and affection to each other.
Uma and Madhavan came from different cities and marriage that was arranged through a councilor united them. Uma was well educated and employed with a private insurance company where as Madhavan was employed in a multi national company as a VP. They had varied interests but shared few in common and the most important among all was gardening.
When city was reeling with space crunch to do just anything, they made use of all the available resources. They converted their terrace into roof-top garden and planted some bonsai trees and plants and use to get all their vegetables from there. It used to be seen with envy among the neighbors who stayed around. Uma use to say "Do not search for space. You have space around you. Make the best use of it" and seeing this, few others had also followed her footsteps.
They use to spend their holidays and weekends in the garden as they never had kids and treated these plants as their kids. hey use to water them with great care and also use to prepare compost organic manure which saw them getting more yield than expected.
The front portion of their house which had small tract of land, was used for flower plants and a mango tree. The mango tree started growing but only with leaves and branches and with no fruits. We all will agree to the fact that where there is a positivity, there is also some negativity and few of her neighbors had always spoken the negative things to her. One of them said "The tree will not yield because it was planted by a childless couple". It pierced Uma's heart like a spear but she had never shown it outside. She continued to live with a smiling face. She believed in karma and knew that being good will always bring good things.
Maddy had also incorporated Rain Water Harvest system in his building and when it rained so heavily during the month of December in Chennai ( the house was located in one of the localities which was least affected by the historic floods), the system had captured most of the water. It not only made the land fertile but also had increased the ground water level in their home. When it was a real hot summer, the next year, almost all the house borewells went dry except their house. Few who had good rapport with the couple even came to their place and took some water to their house.
This house was even frequented by birds of many varieties. One could hear mynah and koel in the morning and they could also get to see other birds like parrots, sparrows, pigeons to name a few. This was a sight to behold as it looked really awesome for anyone who enter that street where the other houses wore a deserted look but not this place which was full of fun, peace and enjoyment.
Many even tried to approach the couple asking them to sell it off for a premium but they had refused politely saying that they are not living for money. Having so many credits attached to their property like roof top garden, RWH System had made them featured in local newspapers and daily.
It was just like a usual Sunday where Maddy took his 2-wheeler to go to the market to fetch some groceries. When he was in the junction waiting for the signal, a lorry which came from behind had hit him and he was dead at the spot. It was later found out that the driver was in the influence of alcohol which had caused the disaster.
It was a double disaster because Uma is now pregnant. The ever smiling face of Uma now was occupied with gloom. The baby has lost his/her father even before he/she was born and more than that it will be cursed by the people that he/she was the cause for the death of his/her father. The couple did not take any scan to find out the gender of the baby till date as they did not believe that it would make any difference since they got this boon after 15 years but it came with a curse.
Fortunately no one knew this. Even her close friends and relatives weren't aware of this. Uma did not want to let anyone know about this till the baby is born and now she has to take another major step in her life.
Friends and Relatives came rushing in for the final rituals. Uma's eyes had already lost the moisture. Though she was well placed with good bank balance and insurance, she was least interested in it. Some of her friends even tried to persuade her to claim compensation from the owner of the transport company which caused this disaster. Uma thought "When the life is gone, what is the purpose with the money earned after that?"
If she lived in the same locality, when the baby is born, he/she will be pointed by the jealous neighbors one day or the other affecting the very mentality of the kid. Hence Uma took that big step in her life. She decided to sell off the property, the property which she and her husband took great care all these years nurturing each and every brick and the life associated with it by way of plants and trees. She did not tell anyone the reason behind selling her house. She sold it and relocated to a different city where her company had branch office.
Irony was Uma is still employed with a Insurance Company. Earlier she use to have great difficulty in convincing her clients to go for the insurance but now it isn't the case. She took a decision that she would do it pretty vigorously from now on. It wasn't for the money for her but money for others because not everyone could lead a life the same way as before after losing the bread winner in their family....